4 holiday TV classics that came from the printed page

Four beloved holiday TV specials that first became beloved on the printed page.

3. 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,' by Robert L. May


Santa Claus's reindeer Rudolph, who leads the pack with his glowing red nose, first appeared in 1939 when Robert L. May wrote a poem about him for department store company Montgomery Ward. The illustrated poem was given out by the company as a holiday promotion and soon became popular. In the Rankin/Bass TV special, which premiered in 1964, Rudolph is made fun of because of his glowing nose. Elf Hermey also faces ridicule when he announces he wants to be a dentist, not build toys. The North Pole residents soon learn the value of accepting everyone when Rudolph's nose proves the key to saving Christmas.

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